Heidi Shierholz

Heidi Shierholz

Heidi Shierholz leads the Economic Policy Institutes’ Perkins Project on Worker Rights and Wages, a policy response team that tracks the Trump administration’s wage and employment policies. She also heads EPI’s efforts to advance a worker-centered policy agenda.

Articles by this author

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Thursday, June 18, 2020
Over Three Months Into Pandemic and Job Losses Remain at Historic Levels
Last week, 2.2 million workers applied for unemployment benefits. This is the 13th week in a row—a full three months—that initial unemployment claims are more than twice the worst week of the Great Recession. Of the 2.2 million who applied for unemployment benefits last week, 1.4 million applied...
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Policymakers need to do much, much more to fight this recession and set our economy up for a strong recovery, which will not happen without intervention. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, June 11, 2020
It's Been Three Months Since Covid-19 Hit and the Economic Pain Continues
Last week, 2.2 million workers applied for unemployment benefits. This is the twelfth week in a row that initial unemployment claims are have been more than twice the worst week of the Great Recession. Of the 2.2 million who applied for unemployment benefits last week, 1.5 million applied for...
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A prolonged depression is virtually guaranteed without significant federal aid to state and local governments. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Congress Must Do Much, Much, Much More to Help Tens of Millions Unemployed
Last week, 3.3 million workers applied for unemployment benefits. That is an improvement over the 6 million per week we saw in late March/early April, but is an increase from the prior week—and is still well over three times the worst week of the Great Recession. Of the 3.3 million who applied for...
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Many of the jobs that have been lost in this recession are low-wage service, retail sales, and office jobs. Views
Thursday, May 14, 2020
In Just Two Months, More Than 33 Million Americans Have Filed for Unemployment
In the last eight weeks, more than 33 million people —more than one in five workers—have applied for unemployment insurance (UI) through regular state UI programs. That is more than five times the worst eight-week stretch of the Great Recession. Some good news is that regular state UI claims have...
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The Congressional Budget Office projects that without additional relief, the unemployment rate will average 16% in the third quarter of this year and 10.1% for the entire calendar year of 2021. (Photo: Getty Images) Views
Thursday, May 07, 2020
Nearly One in Five Workers Applied for State Unemployment Insurance Benefits in the Last Seven Weeks
A previously unimaginable number of workers have applied for state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits as a result of the coronavirus shock. In the last seven weeks alone, more than 30 million workers have applied for unemployment compensation. That is nearly one in five workers. And it is nearly...
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The latest unemployment numbers represent more than one in six workers out of work, and over five times the worst period of the Great Recession. (Photo: Getty) Views
Thursday, April 30, 2020
With Unprecedented 28 Million Unemployment Claims in 6 Weeks, Congress Must Act!
The number of workers applying for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits has risen to never-before-seen levels as a result of the coronavirus shock. In the last six weeks, nearly 28 million workers have applied for unemployment compensation. That is more than one in six workers, and over five times...
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Red sign hanging at the glass door of a shop says, "Closed due to coronavirus." (Photo: Getty Images) Views
Thursday, April 16, 2020
In the Last Four Weeks, More Than 20 Million Workers Applied for Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Correction: This post has been updated to show that 69% of the new UI filers were receiving benefits. An earlier version said 73%. In the last four weeks, 20.1 million people —more than one in eight workers—applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. This is more than a 2,200% increase over...
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How policymakers respond now will determine the level of pain working families experience and the speed at which the economy can get back on track after the shutdown period is over. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, April 07, 2020
What a 'Phase Four' Stimulus Package Must Provide
In the last two weeks, nearly 10 million people applied for unemployment insurance. The March jobs report revealed a loss of 701,000 jobs —the first monthly job loss in nearly 10 years and already one of the worst monthly losses on record. Further, March’s job loss numbers are just the tip of the...
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The chart shows that 9.9 million initial unemployment insurance claims have been made over the last two-week period, creating a graphic described as "difficult to stomach" by economic analysts. (Source: The Block/FRED) Views
Thursday, April 02, 2020
'Portrait of Disaster': Initial Unemployment Claims in US Jump from 211,000 to 6.6 million in Just 3 Weeks
This morning, the Department of Labor (DOL) released data on initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims , showing that UI claims jumped from 211,000 in the week ending March 7th to 6.6 million in the week ending March 28th. This is more than a 3,000% increase in three weeks. This kind of upending...
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A worker at Mother Hubbards Cupboard, a food pantry in partnership with the Hoosier Hills Foodbank, distributes food to people experiencing food insecurity, during the Covid-19-Coronavirus national emergency in Bloomington. .Amanda Nickey, President and CEO at Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, said she'd already seen more people arriving for emergency food after the mass layoffs of local workers during the COVID-19/Coronavirus emergency in Indiana. (Photo: Jeremy Hogan / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images Views
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Never Seen Anything Like This: Unemployment Claims Jumped Nearly 1500% in Two Weeks
W e just got the first piece of government labor market data that really shows—in a breathtaking manner—the impact the coronavirus shock is having on the labor market. The data are last week’s initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims . Initial UI claims jumped from 211,000 three weeks ago to 282,...
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